A Rarity: Completely Unbiased Feedback about Your Writing

It’s rare to be in a situation where one receives detailed and completely unbiased feedback of one’s writing. Sure, unknown reviewers leave ratings and reviews for my novels, but not many leave a score and give an assessment of the overall thoughts of an author’s writing.

I received that recently and found it very interesting and encouraging.

I submitted a play entitled “A Writer’s Satire” to the Pittsburgh New Works Festival. And while it was not one of the plays chosen for production (out of the 250 submitted), I did receive interesting feedback from two anonymous judges who evaluated my script.

The first one gave it a “recommend highly” and an overall score of 75/80. Here were this judge’s thoughts:

pitt   new work 1

Here’s what the second one said. This judge gave it a 70/80 – “recommend.”

pitt   new work 2

A couple points I find interesting on this one. This person liked the plot better than the other judge, but gave me slightly lower marks on both character development and dialogue. The judge was also annoyed with the format that I chose for that piece. I admit, I didn’t use standard American format for that play simply because I find it more time consuming to write in that format and I must have been too lazy to switch it over when I sent it in. I wonder if that would have affected the scores? It certainly seems like it might have. My bad!

I also find it interesting that this judge calls me a “young playwright.” Fascinating, and not completely untrue. While I’m not as young as I once was and no-one will ever confuse me for a youngster, I am still a rather young playwright. I wrote my first play about seven years ago. I became serious about my writing about four years ago. I’m still learning. I have more than a half-dozen full-length plays under my belt and more than 50 short plays finished. So while I have a lot of experience, I am young in playwright years. I don’t mind that comment.

Overall, I was thrilled with what the judges thought about this piece. It’s a piece I really like, and it will be produced in Kuala Lumpur as part of the Short & Sweet Festival Malaysia in October. I look forward to see what they will do with it.

It’s always an encouragement to be validated in one’s craft by anonymous industry insiders. Now I just have to keep writing. I wonder what will come out next.






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